Higher Education

Thinking of starting (or returning to) Higher Education as an adult?

The decision to return to third level education after a break from formal learning or entering it for the first time as a mature student is a significant one. Mature students bring life experience and determination with them. There is a wide range of options open to learners wishing to return to third level education.

Universities, Institutes of Technology and private colleges offer courses at higher level. The main qualifications to be gained are those included in the National Framework of Qualifications at levels 6 - 10. These include Higher Certificates, Ordinary Bachelor Degrees, Honours Bachelor Degrees as well as a number of other certificates and diplomas. Courses are available on a full-time and part-time basis. If you are over 23, you are generally regarded as a mature student. Entry requirements (you may not need your Leaving Certificate) vary from course to course and from institution to institution. Click here for a full list of courses...

The Central Applications Office (CAO) manages entry to undergraduate courses at Irish universities. Most Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) will require you to apply through the CAO, some colleges require you to apply directly and others may require you to do both. Many HEIs also require prospective students to attend an interview. Click here for a full list of CAO courses...
For further information contact the Mature Student Officer in the institution where you are planning to take your course or alternatively download the Mature Student Admission Requirements Booklet published by Mature Students Ireland (MSI) here.  This includes comprehensive information on the entry routes and application processes at a glance, as well as Access and Foundation Courses run by Third Level Colleges in Ireland.

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